It’s a familiar scenario to anyone who’s been to high school: teachers droning out a lecture in front of a class of bored, distracted or uncomprehending students, who are then sent home to try to apply the day’s lesson to homework on their own. And any teacher can tell you that the results aren’t always what they hope for. But what if the model were turned on its head? In the “Flipped Learning” method, teachers assign home viewing of videotaped lectures, then spend class time helping their students solidify what they’ve learned with projects, exercises and Socratic discussions.
What’s the upside for learning? More one-on-one time with a teacher who can be present to answer questions, explain difficult concepts and overcome stumbling blocks. Teachers report improved grades along with greater student engagement and comprehension. The movement has been growing in popularity since its inception around nine years ago.
One online association devoted to the concept, the Flipped Learning Network, boasts a membership of 11,000 teachers and administrators worldwide. If Flipped Learning is so successful, why haven’t more schools adopted it?
What kind of work outlay is required by teachers to prepare adequate home learning materials? What if all students don’t have adequate internet access or the needed technology? If you’re a teacher, would you try this method in your classroom?
Aaron Sams, co-author of "Flip Your Classroom: Reach Every Student in Every Class Every Day" (with Jonathan Bergmann), former high school chemistry teacher and chair of the Flipped Learning Network
Gary S. Stager, Ph.D., speaker, teacher and educator who writes a column on education for The Huffington Post
Crystal Kirch, mathematics teacher at Segerstrom Fundamental High School in Santa Ana